Santa Clara, CA uses old MetroFi network for wireless AMR

Santa Clara’s non-profit electric utility has acquired the wireless nodes installed by MetroFi to create a wireless automated meter reading system and deliver free Wi-Fi service around neighborhoods. The utility bought the nodes at $500 per unit (retail price is $2500). MetroFi went out of business last year after attempting to create citywide Wi-Fi networks in Portland (Oregon), Santa Clara, CA and a number of other cities.

Excerpt from the San Jose Business Journal:

The system operates through “access points” that transfer information from home energy meters to the power company, and includes free outdoor Wi-Fi to the surrounding neighborhood through its bandwidth . . . The city’s five-year plan seeks to appropriate $11 million to replace meters throughout Santa Clara and develop the system. About $2 million has already been appropriated from the city, and the pilot program is currently under way in the San Tomas Woods neighborhood . . . “We’ll install a few thousand meters and test the system from beginning to end and then roll them out,” Owens said. About 45,000 residential meters and 6,000 commercial meters are expected to be installed throughout the city.

I am waiting for the final version of the Obama stimulus package (officially known as the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) because there are billions of dollars being allocated to smart energy grid management.

Related news:

Wellington, FL deploys municipal Wi-Fi network for wireless AMR

AMR / AMI Water Meter Considerations

AMR / AMI network deployment basics

South Carolina city uses muni wireless for energy management, public safety, free WiFi

Wireless meter reading expected to save $18.7M

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  1. The MetroFi network was a good one. Their model didn’t work, but that doesn’t make them bad people. I am glad to hear the WiMax network is being utilized.

    Trilliant is doing SmartGrid in many areas and I hope Santa Clara is utilizing their local presence. They are tops in Smart Grid in my opinion. Their equipment is the best. We should know. We have deployed lots of it.
    Bobby Vassallo
    City Wireless Consulting

  2. One more thought. MUNI WIRELESS, we love your site and read it daily. Thank you for bringing this most important site to our industry.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Robert Grijalva says

    It’s July 2011 and I’ve discovered that this free metro_wifi network is just terrible.

    I’m staying in a Santa Clara neighborhood right now and it takes my laptop about 20 minutes to log in.

    I’m trying to find out what department is in charge of this to see if anything can be done